More than 25,000ha of rice in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang may be affected by drought and saltwater intrusion during the peak of the dry season this year, from mid-March to mid-April.

According to the provincial Hydro-Meteorology Forecast Centre, Phung Hiep district will be hardest hit with around 10,000 ha. Vi Thanh City and several other districts including Chau Thanh A, Long My and Vi Thuy are also urged to get prepared for saltwater encroachment.

The centre said several recent years have seen unusual weather patterns such as early arrival of the dry season, unseasonal rains and high tides, which are signs of climate change.

Meanwhile, in Mekong Delta Tra Vinh province, saline water enters as far as 50km from local river mouths, posing a serious threat to agricultural production, especially Winter-Spring rice crops.

Local people in the affected areas are recommended to reinforce the dyke system, dredge canals to take water from inland rivers and store water in ponds, lakes and fields while keeping a close watch on the salt concentration of river water.-VNA